Lionmilk, the primary solo project of Los Angeles musician/composer/producer, Moki Kawaguchi, for some time now, operates in an explicitly therapeutic mode. 2021’s I Hope You Are Well was originally self-released during the onset of the pandemic as a limited run of home-dubbed cassettes, which Kawaguchi hand-delivered to loved ones’ mailboxes in a sort of guerrilla care campaign—a modest attempt to mitigate the sudden, profound alienation that prevailed during those early lockdown months. When Lionmilk and Leaving Records later collaborated on an official release for I Hope You Are Well, this once humble project’s impact grew exponentially, with countless fans (old and new alike) granted access to the warmth and beauty of Lionmilk’s inner circle. Intergalactic Warp Terminal 222, out March 17, 2023 on Leaving, presents the listener with yet another opportunity for deep cosmic healing. When discussing Lionmilk, Kawaguchi regularly foregrounds the absolute necessity of music-making as a form of self-care. First and foremost, he produces sounds and songs that provide him with some modicum of solace — “music to feel less whack to.” One gets the sense that he’d be doing exactly what he’s doing (exactly the way he’s doing it) even if he was the last man on earth. But he isn’t. And, in fact, one of Lionmilk’s primary concerns—evident across track titles, as well as the sung and spoken words that dot his releases—is community, or more specifically, what it means to exist and act in his community. Intergalactic Warp Terminal 222 ventures deeper into the paradoxes explored to great effect on I Hope You Are Well. How might we transmit our solitudes via music and to what extent? What does a shared solitude sound and feel like? And, in the context of this transaction, what novel relationships arise between the recording artist and the listener? The record begins with a radio transmission from the depths of Lionmilk’s celestial innerspace— “Hello. Is anybody out there? This is Lionmilk speaking, and you are tuned into the Intergalactic Warp Terminal 222. Standby. We are commencing broadcast” — a retro sci-fi movie motif that recurs throughout Intergalactic Warp Terminal 222’s 26 tracks. But space travel here functions more-so as a metaphor for deep soul work, for journeying inward, through the vast unknowns of one’s own consciousness. What follows is an intimate, diaristic song suite, grounded in the struggle to keep our hearts alive and open amidst an onslaught of daily indignities. Tracks like “daily i dream,” “lover’s theme,” and “hopeful i can change,” function as brief, instrumental meditations on those moments when hope suddenly, inexplicably eclipses despair. The soulful standout “treat yourself like a friend” contains perhaps the lyrical apotheosis of Lionmilk’s current iteration: “...I get up / to pee and drink water / treating myself a little bit softer / you do your best / today will be better / I’ll do my best / I’ll do my best / I promise.” Composed of loops, sketches, improvizations, and voice memos recorded directly to a single cassette tape, Intergalactic Warp Terminal 222 flutters, warbles, and lilts along seamlessly — an hour-long, lo-fi and jazzy paean to compassion, while clearly indebted to the ambient idiom, nevertheless constitutes some of the most politically engaged and energizing music yet from Lionmilk.